Mobile Handset Vendors & OEMs Pushing Telcos For Faster 4G LTE Rollout In India

Multiple mobile handset vendors as well as OEMs are in collaboration with telecom operators in India for faster 4G LTE network rollout. India uses TD-LTE technology for the deployment of 4G networks over Band 40 (2300 MHz). Earlier, this technology was being used only by China and India but now, more and more countries in Asia are adopting it due to its lower cost of deployment when compared to LTE FDD.

Airtel 4G LTE Data Cards

Airtel 4G LTE Data Cards

Nokia is in talks with all the Indian operators who have 4G licenses to adopt its 4G LTE compatible handsets. Nokia says that their handsets are 4G ready since 2012 but I am not sure if they are compatible with 4G LTE bands in India. Recently, they have launched the Nokia Lumia 635 which they claim is their cheapest smartphone with 4G connectivity but it is compatible with 1800 MHz band only and not 2300 MHz. Not even high-end devices like Lumia 1520 and the upcoming Lumia 930 are compatible with 2300 MHz band.

But, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, Vodafone India and Reliance Jio Infocomm have also bought licenses for band 1800 MHz with the intention of offering 4G services. So, chances are that Nokia might launch special 4G versions of its Lumia smartphones with 4G capability in India as they further with tie-ups with operators. This means that Indian consumers have to wait a bit to use 4G on these phones as there is still time when operators start using this new 1800 MHz band.

Apple on the other hand, has launched iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C last year in India, both of which support all 4G LTE networks which are being used worldwide, thanks to the latest multi-mode LTE radio chip from Qualcomm (most probably MDM9x15). Both the devices support Cat 4 LTE which can do a maximum theoretical downlink speeds of 150Mb/s.



Qualcomm, a leading manufacturer of 4G LTE compatible SoCs and radio units for smartphones, is working with Airtel and multiple handset vendors like LG and Huawei to release 4G LTE handsets in India. Recently, they conducted a ‘4G LTE Experience Drive’ in Bangalore where people can experience Airtel’s 4G LTE networks on LG G2 4G version which is available at a price of Rs 46,000 in India.

Even China has offered the 2300 MHz band to its telecom operators for 4G network rollouts, similar to India. This means that any smartphone released in China with 4G LTE will also be automatically compatible for use on Indian 4G networks as well. Chinese smartphone brands like Huawei, Gionee, Xiaomi and Oppo are known for offering great hardware at pretty cheap price tags and many of them are either already present in Indian market or, are planning to enter very soon. As we reported earlier, Huawei had launched Ascend P1 LTE in collaboration with Bharti Airtel with commercial availability in Bangalore, Kolkata and Pune.

Consumers can experience 10 times the download and upload speeds using 4G networks when compared to older 3G HSPA networks. Also, the cost of deployment for 4G LTE is not that expensive for operators. Bharti Airtel has already started offering 4G at the same price as 3G plans in Bangalore and other cities are to follow soon. Until recently, Airtel offered 4G LTE only through data cards but it started data connectivity for mobile phones on 4G networks while the calls are still being operated through older 3G networks. 4G networks are faster yet more efficient in terms of power usage as well as performance offering longer battery lives in mobile phones. So, 4G LTE rollout is a win-win situation for both, operators and consumers in India.

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  • Ganesh April 14, 2014 5:18 pm

    I am not too interested to use 4G on my mobile! I am happy with current 3G speeds. Cuz I don’t wanna drain my battery in just hours while using 4G! 4G is a huge battery drain. IMO, instead of using 4G on mobiles (at least in Indian environment), it can be used to connect last mile areas with fast connections.

  • idea88 April 12, 2014 9:58 am

    @rama and Darshan anyone can explain about forms abt simcards H1 H2 HLR??? I have HLR Vodafone sim..

    • Darshan April 12, 2014 11:46 am

      Actually that is sim type
      H1 sim provides normal network which is normally the sim provided by company everywhere
      H2 sim gives better connectivity than H1 and so follows H4,H5,H6 provides strongest networks
      But H4,H5,H6 sims are not provided by the company bcuz if they use this sim it will lead to provide stronger bandwidth which will increase the operating cost….HLR means home location register which is present for all sims
      Dont know its correct information or not
      If wrong correct it please

    • SS April 12, 2014 1:20 pm

      This is a debate you would hardly find on the internet. Normally prepaid users get H1, H2 SIM and postpaid ones get H4, H5. These sim cards have extra set of instructions and have NO effect on coverage as per my experience.

      • Chetan April 12, 2014 4:04 pm

        @ Darshan- there is no impact on network coverage with HLR series and neither does it Ping more or less as was mentioned in another topic in this website. HLR series is associated with mobile no. series of a operator. initial mobile no. series of mobile operator is associated with H1 sim and moving on in ascending order with latest being with H7. also all MNP nos. of other service provider comes with H7 series.

        @SS is absolutely correct. Sim cards with H1 H2 Etc have set of instructions associated to log in on their network with specific no. series only.

        ALSO NOT ALL OPERATORS FOLLOWS THIS. Only AVOID has this system.
        Operators like Docomo, Aircel, BSNL,Videocon, Uninor does not follow this.
        they give random sim cards for any no.

        • Darshan April 12, 2014 7:43 pm

          This is the case
          Thankyou for clearing that!

  • JOY April 12, 2014 9:03 am

    @Asif Sir, Will be 4G on 1800 Mhz will be success in India ? As 2300 Mhz is struggling to gain market !

  • Ramesh Shastri April 12, 2014 6:38 am

    Whatever frequency bring 4G quickly. I am tired with the tortoise speed of 3G

  • Sudar April 11, 2014 8:45 pm

    Yes it is better to move to 4G.

    • Chetan April 11, 2014 11:30 pm

      Hold on! India’s no. 1 telco has taken a short cut and launched 4g lte by routing calls through 3g & 2g network. The tech is called CSFB(circuit switch fall back) which enables the calls to be switches from an all IP enabled network like 4g lte to legacy network like 2g or 3g. Airtel has escaped from providing services like VoLTE which provides wideband voice in HD quality. Certain other VAS services missed along with this. Globaly telcos are building 4g network with VoLTE only.

      Airtel decided to do this as it has very legacy network and will require a total overhaul of passive and active infra including replacing BTS radio antennas. This upgrade will cost bomb to launch service in single circle. Also providing voice on lte network would need double the no. of towers in a given area as signal quality in 2300mhz band decreases rapidly with increase in distance from the tower.

      Personally this is like going to fine dining restaurant and food is getting served from local dhaba.

      I hope other telcos do not follow the same. Jio is sounding similar setup like data on lte and voice on 2g

      • Raj April 12, 2014 1:38 am

        I don’t know who you are, please don’t feed people incorrect information.
        1. To shift from fall back to VoLTE requires installation of IMS core. It is not a total overhaul.
        2. It will require double the no. of towers?? Even this is not true. The power required for transmission at 2300 Mhz would be more, but that doesn’t not by any means imply the signal quality would decrease with the increase in distance from the tower and is far from implying it requires: double the no. of towers 😛

        Good luck proving

        • Chetan April 12, 2014 8:57 am

          I think you have yesterday night!
          MTS baby wash your face. Lol.
          First complete your schooling and graduation and then come and talk.

          1. IMS core is a part of total overhaul and not the only upgrade.
          2. Spectrum in 2300mhz has very poor concrete penetration and other materials. Indoor coverage and QUALITY largely decreases with the increase in BTS distance. This DEFINATLY requires more BTS in a given area. You need to check your tiny knowledge.

          Now if i start talking technologies like nano cell, single RAN. You will go inside where you came from.

  • Webly Gomes April 11, 2014 1:01 pm

    All eyes now on 4G tarrifs.

  • Mohit April 11, 2014 12:26 pm

    I am eagerly waiting for 4G lte in Delhi but we have to wait long.
    Also there is a mistake in the post, Nokia lumia 635 will be 4G lte phone, not lumia 630. And it is not launched yet, it is announced only.
    Also, Micromax is silent after canvas knight. I think they are working on 4G lte phone. Please give good battery atleast 4000mah.

    • Mohit April 11, 2014 1:49 pm

      Thanks for correcting the mistake.
      I heard that ios is the safest OS. Also it is easy to hack mobile data if your internet speed is high. We may hear many mobile hacking cases in coming years after 4G launch in delhi, mumbai.

  • Rama April 11, 2014 12:10 pm

    *Its not like every iphone model universally supports every LTE band.So if you plan on buying an iphone from U.S and use it in India then think twice.

    *The only LTE bands which are universally present in every iphone model are 800/850/900/1800/1900/2100

    *Bands such as the 2300 mhz LTE currently used in India is only supported by A1530/A1529.

    *Hardly is any manufacturer serious about LTE in India in the past so many models were released as budget LTE smartphones such as Sony Xperia SP and even the Nokia Lumia 625 even high end smartphones like Nexus 5/Galaxy S4/HTC One 2013 released with LTE support but when the same models were launched in India LTE was disable for some unknown reason.

    *The manufacturer that is going to be dominant in LTE would most porbably be the one who manages to stike a deal with Reliance Jio and its “mostly” gonna be Samsung or LG.

    • Asif Iqbal April 11, 2014 12:13 pm

      “Apple on the other hand, has launched iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C last year in India, both of which support all 4G LTE networks which are being used worldwide”

      Only iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S support worldwide LTE bands. No every iPhone.

      • Rama April 11, 2014 12:35 pm

        *I never meant to crticize the article in any form.Its a good article and details every aspect of LTE infact even your previous article on a big screen iphone was very good as u had brought out every info possible.

        *I agree that Apple has managed to launch an iphone 5S/5C model in almost every country with LTE support for the respective country.

        *But what I had meant to say in my previous comment was that every iphone 5S/5C models do not support each and every LTE band.There are currently four 5S/5C models and each supports a paticular set of LTE bands and not all the LTE bands.Currently its only A1530(5S)/A1529(5C) which supports LTE band 40 or LTE on 2300 mhz band.You cant buy an iphone 5S from America and expect it to support LTE band 40/LTE on 2300 mhz band.

        *In my previous comment I meant to say “not every iphone”5S/5C”” supports all LTE bands.I hope you our mis-understanding is now clarified.

        • Asif Iqbal April 11, 2014 12:43 pm

          I didn’t mean that you were criticising. 🙂 I got the point. But I guess Apple released A1529 and A1530 in India.

          • Rama April 11, 2014 12:59 pm

            *Generally at Telecom Talk authors only take part in comments if a comment is abusive or praising.Even I know that A1529/A1530 was released in India and supports LTE band 40.But its only A 1530/A1529 which supports LTE band 40.The European model
            A1457/A1407 does not support LTE band 40.So someone cannot ask a relative in Europe to bring a 5S along with him and expect LTE to work in India.

            *Many people might mis interpret Global LTE support thinking that irrespective of which region the iphone is bought from it would support LTE in India and in my first comment I wanted to say that that’s not the case and paticular iphone models only support paticular LTE bands and not all the LTE bands.

    • Asif Iqbal April 11, 2014 12:15 pm

      True that. Till 2014, no ODM is very enthusiastic about 4G in India.

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